Monday, September 7, 2015


Now that Labor Day is over, it's time to get serious about the Holidays coming up! Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years. Before this year, these Holidays were all about the food. Halloween was all about candy. Thanksgiving was all about the huge feast I would get stuffed on, and then magically find room for several different pies. Christmas you get goodies from friends and neighbors, Christmas Eve we have a huge Mexican dinner, you get a stocking stuffed with candy, and then a huge Christmas dinner. New Years we go out to Chinese and have a large dinner, and then snack all evening till Midnight.

This year, when thinking about the Holidays, I'm more excited about watching my kids get excited about dressing up, spending time with family, teaching them about being grateful, teaching them about giving, and starting a new year. Until writing this post, I wasn't stressed out about food because I've had a focus on the important part of this time of year....Then I started writing this post!

To help keep myself, and hopefully help others, I've decided to come up with a game plan, yes THIS early, to keeping me on track during all of the temptation the Holidays bring.

First off, I like to know how far away everything is, and to set goals until they come. There's 8 weeks until Halloween. There's 12 weeks until Thanksgiving. There's 16 weeks until Christmas. There's 17 weeks until New Years. 

If I lose a pound a week (which at this point in my weight loss is a healthy, realistic amount), I could lose 8 more pounds by Halloween. I could lose 12 pounds total by Thanksgiving. If I was to keep going, I could continue to lose up to 17 pounds by New Years. 

How can I make this possible when there is so much goodies, cold weather, and other set backs at this time of year? Here's my top tips for staying on track during the Holidays.

1) Be prepared. Start planning now. Meal plan each week and get into the swing of things, so that you are not starting something new during the Holidays.

2) Set realistic, but detailed goals. Write them down. Don't just write down, "lose 5 pounds." Write down "I want to lose 5 pounds by Halloween." Then write down your action plan. "I will do this by exercising 6 days a week. I will only have 3 small treats a week. I will follow my meal plan."  

3) Set up rewards. Yes, being happier with yourself by Christmas is a great rewards, but plan out other rewards. If money is tight, like it is for most people at this time of year, come up with cheap rewards. A night out away from the kids, or even a night in with your spouse taking the kids to the store while you take a relaxing bath and read a book. I usually set my rewards, depending on the goal met, around $15-20. Of course, I have bigger goals that get bigger rewards. But the smaller, more frequent goals still get a reward. 

4) Don't say no to everything. Make a list RIGHT NOW of things you can't give up. Do you love hot chocolate, and want to indulge once a week during December? Do you have to have your mom's pecan pie Thanksgiving Day? Will you allow yourself 3 small candies on Halloween? Whatever it is, plan ahead. Know right now so you can work hard to earn those treats and yummy food. Know that week so you can limit your treat days accordingly. (I have 3 small treats a week. Not always but this is my max!)

5) Make a list of things you won't waste calories on. Maybe you don't need to do this. But I do. Every single year, I find myself eating candy corn. I don't like candy corn. I've never liked candy corn. But put candy in front of me and I'll eat it. This year, I have it on my "Waste of calories" list. Shortbread cookies are also on this list. Do you have things you don't love, and find yourself asking why you have it every year? Put it on your list!

6) Let your family and friends know of your goals. They can be supportive, and that's an amazing feeling. They can remind you of your goals. They cannot keep you accountable. That's your job. Have you ever told your spouse or friend to not let you have something, and then when they remind you, you get defensive and angry at them, and then eat whatever it is anyway? Yeah, they can't hold you accountable, only you can hold yourself accountable.

7) Invite others to join you! I love having friends and family in my challenge groups. It helps keep me accountable. It makes the journey more fun. It helps them. It helps me. It helps when the people around you during the Holidays are on the same plan as you, they'll cook healthier for you, or be on board when you cook healthier, and they won't tempt you with every treat possible.

8) Make a calendar and cross off each day that you stay on track. Last year, I made a goal to not have dessert from the week before Halloween until Thanksgiving. I drew up a calendar, and crossed off each day. It was so rewarding to cross off each day that I didn't have treats. I crossed off every single day until Thanksgiving. It was amazing to reach that goal!

9) Continue your workouts. Don't make excuses, remember why you're doing this, and then get it done. I like to think of workouts as {my} time. I think of them as my therapy. I think about how much better I feel when I'm done, and then I do it. Holidays are busy. I'll be waking up early Christmas morning and getting my workout in. Am I crazy? Maybe. But I know how much better my days are when I get my workouts in, and I'd like to feel as good as I can everyday, holidays are no exception. Not to mention all the stress that comes during the Holidays, and the fact that working out relieves stress. My goal is to workout 6 days a week from now on until the end of the year.

10) Evaluate where you are once a week. Every Sunday, I measure, I weigh, I look at where I am with goals. This way I'm not just setting goals and then forgetting about them. Make an appointment with yourself every week, and then show up. Check in and make sure you're on track. 

If there's anything I've learned in life, it's that if you're prepared, you can't fail. 

Did you like these tips? Do you feel you need more help and focus staying on track? Let's chat about what I can do for you as a coach.

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